A Social History of English is the first history of the English language to utilize the techniques, insights and concerns of sociolinguistics. Written in a non-technical way, it takes into account standardization, pidginization, bi- and multilingualism, the issues of language maintenance and language loyalty, and linguistic variation.
This new edition has been fully revised. Additions include: * new material about 'New Englishes' across the world
* a new chapter entitled 'A Critical Linguistic History of English Texts'
* a discussion of problems involved in writing a history of English
All terms and concepts are explained as they are introduced, and linguistic examples are chosen for their accessibility and intelligibility to the general reader.
It will be of interest to students of Sociolinguistics, English Language, History and Cultural Studies.
'A fascinating account … Leith assumes no technical linguistic knowledge on the part of the reader and his book will be accessible and valuable not only to students of sociolinguistics but also to those interested in language from the perspectives of literature, history or cultural studies.' - Spoken English
'Leith's book is very learned, forgiving and clear-headed.' - Nicholas Lezard, The Guardian
This book is at once erudite, accessible and engaging … Throughout the book he emphasizes the variability and vitality of the language throughout the ages … I would strongly recommend Leith's book for the general reader, and, for those interested in language.' - The British Journal of General Practice